Plastic pollution is fast becoming one of the most prominent contamination issues facing the marine environment. Microplastics are a major subset of plastic waste now present in all global oceans, with their numbers standing only to increase. This study applies a coupled hydrodynamic model and Lagrangian particle-tracking model to predict and simulate microplastic transport in South Australian waters. Virtual particles representing microplastics were released daily for 365 days from two major freshwater input sources along the coastline of Adelaide, Australia. These particles entered the Gulf St Vincent and were tracked over two model years using LTRANS software. The model identified general gulf circulation as circular, clockwise, with net southward particle transport from particle release sites. A potential accumulation zone associated with a local eddy was identified. Concentrations of particles that passed through local marine parks were also calculated in response to the potential concerns they pose in vulnerable protected areas.
- Gulf St Vincent
- Hydrodynamic model
- Lagrangian particle-tracking model
- Marine protected areas